Code Pink

Yesterday I went to the Mission Plaza at noon to attend an anti-war demonstration organized by Code Pink, the national organization, largely of women, who have been mounting protests since the war started in 2003. I was reminded of Women Stike for Peace, to which my mother belonged in the 1950’s.

It was one of those beautiful west coast January days.img_0109.jpgLow light and long shadows. The creek was flowing, the bells were tolling, music wafted through the plaza from one of the restaurant patios. Pairs of shoes of all sizes labelled with the names of Iraqi casualties were laid out on the pavement, an effort to put passersby “in their shoes.”

Prayer flags fluttered from the bandstand, each inscribed with the names and ages of U.S. soldiers killed in the last year and the dates they died. An art teacher unveiled a group canvas produced by her students img_0101.jpgshowing the lofty ideal of the dove of peace and its ragged reality, trapped in barbed wire.

Starting with a woman in her nineties, people read the names of the 110 US troops who died in December written on flags that had not yet been mounted and placed them slowly in a box. After each name, one of the organizers beat a gong. img_0105.jpgSome wept as they read.

The day before, I had cashed in my United Miles and got a ticket to go to Washington for the January 27 national mobilization. Last night I listened to the CD just sent to me by college friend Jeff Parson: The Baby and the Bathwater–seventeen songs about the horrors of this war he felt called to write and perform with one of his daughters and friends.

Passions are rising. What comes next after elections?

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